Objectives With poorly soluble drug candidates emerging in the drug discovery pipeline, the importance of the solid dispersion formulation approach is increasing. This strategy includes complete removal of drug crystallinity, and molecular dispersion of the poorly soluble compound in a hydrophilic polymeric carrier. The potential of this technique to increase oral absorption and hence bioavailability is enormous. Nevertheless, some issues have to be considered regarding thermodynamic instability, as well in supersaturated solutions that are formed upon dissolution as in the solid state.
Key findings After a brief discussion on the historical background of solid dispersions and their current role in formulation, an overview will be given on the physical chemistry and stability of glass solutions as they form supersaturated solutions, and during their shelf life.
Conclusions Thorough understanding of these aspects will elicit conscious evaluation of carrier properties and eventually facilitate rational excipient selection. Thus, full exploitation of the solid dispersion strategy may provide an appropriate answer to drug attrition due to low aqueous solubility in later stages of development.